How to use the Attendance Tool to Blackboard

Important Spring 2020 Update

The tool is now called Attendance (it was previously named Qwickly Attendance). It will now appear near the top of the Blackboard tools menu. If you had already set up attendance in a Spring 2020 course prior to December 25, 2019, you will need to redo the setup.


  • The first time you access Attendance, you will be asked to allow the integration between Qwickly Attendance and Blackboard. This is safe to allow.
  • If you choose to create a Grade Center column based on attendance, the column will be the last column in the Full Grade Center (previously it was the first).
  • For large classes, attendance scores may take several minutes to populate the Grade Center column.
  • The Attendance tool will open in a new browser window. Close the window or tab after using the tool in order to return to Blackboard.

If you receive an error message when accessing the tool via the Control Panel, instead click Tools in the course menu and then Attendance. You can also add this link to your Course Menu by clicking the small + button at the top of the course menu, choosing to add a Tool - then select Attendance.

Attendance data from the Fall 2019 semester is available in the updated tool. If you need access to prior attendance data, please contact us so we can provide instructions on how to access this data.

Questions about the changes? Contact

Getting Started

The Qwickly Attendance tool allows for attendance tracking and grading in Blackboard. Attendance can be considered as a part of the participation grade (see Univerity Catalog and advice from Stearns Center).


  • Automatically create a graded column in Blackboard and keep a running grade for attendance.
  • See a list of all students and work down the list or show one student at a time as the instructor calls names.
  • Send an email to students when they are marked as absent for the day. Provide students with an acknowledgment that they were missed in class and a way to cross reference with their attendance score.
  • Export to CSV.

Accessing Attendance

Qwickly Attendance is available via a course Control Panel > Course Tools. If you plan to use it regularly, you may wish to add the Qwickly Attendance tool to the Course Menu. Students will be able to view their attendance record via Tools on the course menu. To hide from students, you can choose "Hide Link" for Qwickly Attendance option on the Tools page. You also can optionally hide the Grade Center column in the Full Grade Center.

Set Up

You will be prompted to Begin Set-up the first time accessing Qwickly Attendance.

Default Style

Choose your default style of taking attendance. You can change this view at any time when taking attendance by switching tabs.


Selecting Grade Center Integration will allow the instructor to choose Attendance criteria including the creation of a column in the Grade Center to track points for attendance. The points can be set to be:

  • a total for the length of the course (students will get a percentage of those points based on attendance)
  • points for each session attended (points add up each time a student attends)
  • points per absence
  • or no grading at all for attendance.

Absence Email

There is an email that can automatically be sent to the students to notify them they were marked as absent.

Additional Settings & Options

Attendance Record: allows the instructor to go back and change an attendance marking for a class.

Current Time | Custom Time (Past or Future): allows the instructor to mark student attendance from a previous day or mark attendance for a second class session held on the same day.

If grading, we recommend you check the "Round Grades to Nearest Whole Number" option—so students don't see decimal places (for example, 66.6667% for attending 2 out of 3 classes). Under Settings > View Preferences, select Round Grades to Nearest Whole Number.

Taking Attendance

There are four methods to taking attendance: Full List, One by One, Accessibility and Check-In.

With the exception of Check-In, students default to Present—change individual students’ statuses as needed before clicking the Submit Attendance button.  If you want to allow students to mark themselves present via their own computer/device at the beginning of class, select CHECK-IN. Students will need to login to your Blackboard course (via any device, including the Blackboard app), choose the Attendance tool in the course, and click Checkin. You can optionally choose to display or give out a PIN number to ensure the student is physically present in your classroom.

If you need to make a change to a past record, select Attendance Record to edit a student’s status (the change will take a few minutes to display in the Grade Center).

What Happens in the Grade Center?

If attendance is graded, an Attendance column will automatically be added to the Full Grade Center.  You can also choose whether or not you would like a Grade Center column for Absences as well.

The columns' score will automatically be included in the Grade Center Total column.

The columns will default the display to Score (points). This could be changed to display or also show percentage.

Note: Instructors can mark a student present, absent, or excused, or create their own custom marking. Please be aware the EXCUSED status has a specific meaning to the Qwickly Attendance tool.

Status of Present (green check mark): Student receives points for Attendance in the Grade Center (if selected) and Qwickly counts the user as in-class.

Status of Absent (red X): Student receives no points for Attendance in the Grade Center (if selected) and Qwickly counts the student as absent from the class.

Status of Excused (blue circle): Student receives no points for Attendance but is also not counted as absent in class. For a student who has been EXCUSED from class, the Attendance total score is now adjusted and will be different from all other students.

Note: For example, Attendance counts as 1 point per class. A semester course meets twice a week for 15 weeks therefore the total points possible for Attendance is 30. A student is EXCUSED from one class and attends 29 classes. The EXCUSED status does not penalize the student but each attended class is now worth more to the student to equal the total of 30 points. If the student is later ABSENT that ABSENT day will also count as more points against the student's total. As a result, the use of Excused may cause confusion - it recommended to only mark a student Present or Absent.